Hewitt & Salvatore discusses whether or not you can sue the state for your car accident.

Can I Sue the State for My Car Accident?

While most accidents are caused by other drivers, some are the result of the condition of the road itself. And when a driver is injured due to poor road conditions, he or she may sue the state if certain requirements are met. First, an injured party must prove that he or she was injured due to road conditions. This requires an injured party to prove the following:

  • A defect in the road caused the accident.
  • A reasonably careful driver could not have avoided the accident. 

Types of road defects 

There are three types of road defects upon which drivers may rely when attempting to sue the state following a car accident:

Design defects

Flaws in design are sometimes responsible for car accidents. Types of design defects include: 

  • Poor drainage
  • Absence of medians
  • Unreasonably steep downgrades 
  • Sharp curves
  • Poor visibility 
  • Soft shoulders
  • Absence of guard rails

Construction or maintenance defects 

Construction and maintenance defects are a common cause of car accidents in West Virginia. Normal wear and tear can cause roads to fall into disrepair, and when the state fails to take steps to remedy problems, this can cause accidents. In addition, a road can be faulty from the start, such as when there is a problem with its construction. Either way, construction and maintenance issues can result in dips, erosions, potholes, the loss of structural integrity, and other issues.  

Warning defects

Finally, although not necessarily a physical defect, the failure to provide warnings of dangerous conditions can be just as dangerous as physical issues with a road. Road signage provides drivers with information they need to adjust their driving to avoid accidents. And when signs are faded, missing, poorly positioned, or confusing, drivers often pay the price. In order to hold the state responsible for a warning defect, an injured driver must demonstrate that the defect was the cause of the accident. In such a case, the driver would sue the state or other entity responsible for constructing or maintaining the road. However, as is the case with each of the above types of defects, proving that a defect caused an accident can be difficult. Therefore, if you’ve been injured in a car accident due to a road defect, you need the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney.  

Get the compensation you deserve!  

If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to faulty road conditions, you need an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney on your side. An experienced personal injury attorney will protect your legal rights and guide you towards the proper course of action based on your situation. At Hewitt & Salvatore, we pride ourselves on providing all of our clients with personal attention, and we treat every personal injury case as our top priority. You can trust us to see your claim through to a successful conclusion. Please contact our office today for a consultation.